B&W 602s or Paradigm Monitor 5s

I like the sound of both speakers but have never heard them side by side. They cost about the same so any advice would be appreciated. I will power them with a Denon 3802 reciever and use them for 50/50 for music and movies. The speakers will be put into shevles in a built-in bookshelf which will be about 24" deep. My room is 25'x16' with the speakers at one end and my couch will be in the middle about 15' away. I mostly listen to live recordings (not always a very good source) of Widespread Panic and the Grateful Dead. I also listen to acoustic and classic rock a good bit. I love watching concert DVDs of all kinds of music. I will be using a Hsu VT2 subwoofer as well. Any recommendations.....
This does not answer your question directly ... the placing of the speakers on a shelf inside a built in (enclosed-?) bookshelf unit is as much of a determinant on your speaker selection as the actual specific speaker models themselves. Make sure that the speakers, if ported, are either front ported or provide you with foam plugs to fill the rear ports. You can also try to track down acoustic suspension designed speakers. My apologies, I do not know if the B&W's or Paradigms are rear ported, I seem to remember that the PSB Image series had this type of speaker placement in mind. There have been a few threads about this recently. Here's one of them ...


Regards, Rich
with all the audiophiles on here, is this the only help or opinion that I can get?
With all due respect ... you believe that you are asking an audiophile question about speaker choice, when in reality you should be asking how to get audiophile sound by putting ported speakers on shelves (you may also wish to make it clearer if these shelves are enclosed in a wall unit or a wall cut-in ... which will make your task even more difficult). Because of how you plan to use the speakers, I would argue that the speaker choice is less important than you think, as most speakers are not meant to be used in this manner. The sound that you will get will be lacking soundstage and separation; and the speakers will definitely not disappear in the room. I know from experience, as I have had 2 systems set-up in this way for almost 10 years. The sound can be pleasurable, detailed, musical ... but you will not be getting the "full monty." You may wish to go back to the store and if possible, try listening to the speakers in the way you plan to use them ... I think that your decision will become clearer. Sorry that more people have not offered their opinions, but quite frankly ... your attitude, as expressed in your second posting, will not be attracting a lot of help. Best of luck, Rich
If the Paradigms are rear ported, they will likely not work very well. Personally, I prefer the B&W's but I have only compared them to the Paradigm Studio 20's. Also, I use a tube amp with mine and I did not like the way they sound with SS, but that is a matter of taste.
With a little research you can come across the TAS review of the Paradigm Monitor 5. Even though they recommend the speaker, two of the comments they make deal with the fussiness of speaker placement and the nature of the bass port.
I've auditioned both speakers and ended up buying the monitor 5s. To me, they sounded alot more "alive" and detailed than the B&Ws. Once you get their positioning right, the soundstage is awesome, but keep in mind that they are rear ported and somehow, they produce a tremendous amount of bass. I had to pull mine about 24 inches away from the wall and plugged the ports to contain the bass. If you are planning on placing them in a built in bookshelf, IMO I don't think they will sound the way they should and you may end up being pretty dissapointed. Keep us posted as to what you end up going with.
I own the 602s. I have to say that they are very picky about where they were placed, and this was with a book shelf as a starting point. I think they give their best with a bit of space and on a solid stand. Sound wise, Ive thought they do better with jazz/bluegrass/folk than with rock. When not too long ago I went looking for a speaker that did better with Rock music, Paradigm came up again and again.